Golf Futures: Breaking down the Country Club (Brookline, MA)
August 26, 2021
The 2022 US Open will head to a truly historic course, there hasn't been a US Open here since 1988. It's a classic course that is sure to test players skills to utmost even if the track is a little shorter than some other US Opens.
There may not be a more important sport to bet early than golf. While it is nice to observe player form and you can definitely still make bets throughout the year and even the week of the tournament the value on most players will be long gone by then. You need to handicap a players season projections as well as finding a player whose skills match up with the course.
The Country Club Brookline, MA
In 2022, the US Open returns to an old school country club setting. As in, The Country Club. The historic club in Brookline is next up and will host the 122nd US Open, marking the first time in 34 years that the Boston area will host a golf major. “We use the term, ‘the cathedrals of the game,’ ” said Jeff Hall, the USGA’s managing director of rules and open championships. “It’s a founding club of the USGA, it’s got history, and we’re just delighted to be able to go back and continue that history.”
The 2022 championship will offer a rare glimpse behind the gates at TCC. Most fans won’t have seen the course in 23 years, and most of the golfers will be unfamiliar with it as well. Only a handful of participants from the ’99 Ryder Cup are still playing. Phil Mickelson said he has not been back to the course since then. Younger golfers such as Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele have not been back to the course since the 2013 Amateur.
“I remember playing it thinking it was one of my favorite courses I’ve played — just old school golf, all right in front of you, small greens,” said Thomas, who missed the cut in 2013. “It’s one of those places where you walk around the clubhouse and grounds and you get a grasp of everything and how special it is.”
If previous championships are any indication, next year’s Open could be a thrill. In addition to the wild 1999 Ryder Cup, all three previous US Opens at TCC finished in a playoff — Ouimet over Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in 1913, Julius Boros over Jacky Cupit and Arnold Palmer in 1963, and Strange over Faldo in 1988. The fact that none of the golfers will have much experience with the course should make the tournament wide open. “The golf course has such a great history,” Mickelson said. “But what’s most impressive of the golf course is the architecture and how it’s withstood the test of time. I can’t wait to get back.”
The golf course itself grew in several stages, and so is not the result of any one architect. The first six holes were laid out by three club members in March 1893, and the following year the Scot, Willie Campbell, was brought in as club professional. He oversaw the expansion to nine holes that summer, and to a full 18 holes by 1899 following some land acquisition. Around 1902 the Haskell golf ball became widely used, necessitating a further lengthening of the course. After an additional land purchase, two club members designed three new holes which opened in 1908. Rees Jones renovated the course further in preparation for the 1988 U.S. Open.
As in past events, the Open will be played on TCC’s “composite course,” a mix-and-match of holes from the club’s main Clyde and Squirrel course and its nine-hole Primrose course. A new hole will be used for the first time in championship play — the 12th hole of the main course will become the 11th hole of the composite course, replacing the old fourth hole. It’s a tricky par-3, downhill measuring 131 yards and protected by four bunkers and thick fescue. The 11th hole for the 2022 US Open is actually the 12th hole on the main course at The Country Club, which creates a composite course out of all the holes available for championship events.
The par-70 course will play to 7,312 yards, more than 300 yards shorter than this year’s event at Torrey Pines but TCC is a punishing test of golf known for narrow fairways, protruding boulders, postage stamp-sized greens, and of course, the USGA’s infamously thick rough. A few of the par-4 greens may be drivable for the longer hitters, but a miss will be punished severely.
“It was probably at the time — even now — one of the coolest courses I’ve ever played,” Schauffele said. “I remember the rough being extremely thick around the green. If you’re out of position off the tee, you can’t really run a ball up on a green. There’s a lot of really cool design features of the property.”
Course renovations began shortly after the 2013 US Amateur. Several greens have been expanded to its original size and allow for more pin placements (and more roll-offs). New tee boxes have been installed to lengthen the course. The sand traps have been revitalized, and new drainage was installed. And this summer, the rough is as thick as it will be for next summer’s championship.
Staying in the NFC West we make our way to Matthew Stafford. McVay upgraded his QB and Stafford upgraded his coach. This team was the talk of the offseason for awhile but it has cooled off a bit after the loss of Cam Akers. Which seems to be overblown a bit, running backs are one of the easier positions to replace and Akers really didn't even contribute for a good chunk of last season. Stafford should have a lot of easy throws, McVay had Jared Goff playing MVP caliber football a few years ago and Stafford is a pretty significant upgrade. He can make all the throws including improvising and making tough throws, things that Jared Goff really struggled with. Their defense is really solid and they should be pushing for a top seed in the NFC. If they do get back to the top of the NFC expect impressive numbers for Stafford and definite MVP consideration. Bet MGM has 18/1 on him but we think there is value down to 16/1.
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